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“Game changer”

Largest postpartum depression study ever using app to recruit women

By WITW Staff on March 22, 2016

Researchers at the University of North Carolina are trying to recruit 100,000 women through an iPhone app, to participate in a massive study on postpartum depression, hoping to identify genetic markers that indicate higher risk for the disorder. Women who suffer from the disorder can download the app (which is available in the iTunes App Store) and respond to a series of questions about the birth of their child and the moods and anxiety symptoms they experienced afterwards. Women who qualify will be asked to send in a saliva sample, which will then be analyzed by the researchers and compared to healthy women, in order to find genomic markers that might help diagnose, treat or prevent the disease. “We believe it’s a real game changer for our ability to understand the biologic causes of postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis and to use state of art science to develop innovative treatments, and that’s the overall goal,” Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, director of the perinatal psychiatry program at the University of North Carolina, told CNN. “Our overall goal is to prevent anyone else from suffering with these devastating disorders, and we need to know more about the underlying biology, the genetic risk.”

Read the full story at UPI and CNN.